My Christmas in London by Laura Jade, our Senior Registrar

In the lead up to Christmas, I would tend to meet friends for some Christmas shopping and drinks. London has so much to see and do in the festive season and here are some of my favourite things to do for free or at low cost!
View of the traditional Christmas Market along the South Bank Queen's Walk  London at night looking through Xmas lights
Southbank Winter Market and activities – Free to walk around
Set in a stunning location scattered around London’s famous Southbank, this Christmas market cannot be missed! Each market stall is set inside a traditional wooden hut and there are pretty lights to decorate them that glimmer at night. The Winter Market is perfect to pick up traditional hand made gifts, Christmas decorations as well as enjoying a traditional ‘Mulled Wine’ drink and a minced pie – traditional in British Culture. For the more adventurous, there is a Roller Disco and Snow show – which you can buy tickets for as well as entertainment in the ‘La Soiree’s Spiegel Tent’. Southbank is located by Waterloo Station and has the beautiful backdrop of Big Ben and the famous London Buildings around you as well as The River Thames.

 

 

Somerset House Christmas Arcade and Ice-Skating rink – Free to walk around, Ice-Skating is extra
Somerset House is a beautiful arts centre located close to Charing Cross Station and the River Thames. Each year around Christmas time, they have a huge Christmas tree in the courtyard as well as an ice rink, Christmas arcade and art exhibitions. I tend to go here with friends to take pictures with the Christmas tree, to go ice-skating and to do a little bit of Christmas shopping. Usually inside one of the buildings is the Christmas arcade, where you can see rooms dressed for Christmas in traditional British style, as well as gift shops and a cafe. One of my favourite gift shops inside here is a smaller version of ‘Fortnum and Mason’ which is the department store in which the Queen shops at (main store located on Piccadilly – visit here: https://www.fortnumandmason.com/stores) inside here they sell lots of nice traditional gifts and biscuits for family and friends!
somerset house
 
Here is the link for more information: https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink/shop
Christmas Day – St Paul’s Cathedral – Free Service
It was my first year living in Central London last year and I really wanted to go see what London would be like at Christmas.
I had the turkey cooking in the oven and nothing much else to do.. so I decided to go for a walk to see the famous St Paul’s Cathedral, which is one of my favourite London landmarks. St Paul’s Cathedral has such an amazing history and one of the only buildings in London that survived WWII with only slight damage to the roof. Usually it costs £18 per person to visit, but each year on Christmas Day, it opens its doors to the general public for free and you can sit in to watch the Christmas service. It was so beautiful inside, lots of amazing architecture and paintings, and the atmosphere made it really feel like Christmas.
LJ at St Pauls

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